MORE than half of house hunters are reporting that finding a suitable property is now their biggest problem.
The latest consumer sentiment study on the property market shows the strongest evidence yet that the rural property market is also on the road to recovery.
A majority (57pc) of respondents nationwide now claim that property prices are either rising or else stabilising in their areas.
So far, most of the recovery has been taking place in Dublin where shortages are pushing up prices.
Myhome.ie says there are now just 3,800 properties for sale in all of Dublin while a year ago that figure was in excess of 5,000.
But this now appears to be spreading to other corners of the country.
The survey reflects the overall problem of a shortage of quality homes, with more than 50pc of buyers saying that finding a suitable property is a problem.
However, most buyers will again be looking in the capital.
MyHome.ie managing director Angela Keegan said: "According to our survey, two-thirds of people who intend to buy a home next year are living in the Dublin area.
"It is also interesting to see that over 48pc of prospective buyers intend buying within a five-mile radius of where they currently live while that figure rises to 70pc for a 10-mile radius.
"It seems many buyers are turning away from the idea of living in the commuter belt," she said.
The survey of 1,800 people, which took place in the first two weeks of this month, also highlighted a change in the make-up of buyers.
While cash buyers have been accounting for an unsustainable 50pc plus of sales, the survey now shows that just 25pc intend buying with cash.
The other big issues affecting homeowners which were highlighted include the increasing cost of owning a property thanks to rising costs, taxation and recession debt issues.
In fact, 17pc of sellers surveyed by Myhome said that they were putting their homes on the market because they could no longer afford the mortgage repayments.
Prospective buyers were also worried about property tax, water charges and raising a deposit.
Ms Keegan added that half of renters and landlords believe rents will rise by this time next year.